Women’s Health




Younger Women Hesitate To Say They’re Having A Heart Attack

Study Opens New Possibilities for Approaching Breast Cancer

By Heather MacGibbon

Nov 14, 2017

heart breast cancer

The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, the Catalan Institute of Oncology and the University Hospital of Bellvitge announced the publication of a new study looking at how cancerous tumor cells effect and cause mutations on healthy cells to increase tumor growth. [1]

“This finding,” according to the head of the research group of chemoresistance and Predictors of tumor response and stromal environment ICO-IDIBELL, Alberto Villanueva said “opens the door to developing new biomarkers and new therapeutic strategies exploiting these characteristics of exosomes in breast tumors, and other tumors such as ovarian and endometrial cancer among others.”[2]

Exosomes are small vesicles, or fluid filled sacs / particles, which are secreted by all cells and contain proteins and messenger RNAs and microRNA. Scientists use to think they only functioned as cellular waste disposal but in recent years it has been suspected they could have an important role as a messenger between cells of the body. Many research groups now focus their studies on the role that Exosomes could play in diseases, including cancer.[3]

The study published in Cancer Cell shows that exosomes from tumor cells of breast cancer (and other tumor types such as ovarian and endometrial) are different in size and composition than those of healthy cells. Villanueva, “tumor exosomes contain certain proteins (Dicer, TRBP and Ago2) able to process microRNAs that can alter the around the tumor cells transforming them into tumoral cells.”[4] Researchers have been able to show that these exosomes cause changes in adjacent cells but transplanting those produced by cancer cells into non cancer carrying rats where the normal cells then became mutated.

The pathologist of the Department of Pathology at the University Hospital of Bellvitge August Vidal explained that “this tumorigenic transformation depends on Dicer protein that could serve as a marker for the presence of tumor cells, or as a therapeutic target.”[5] This could lead to more effective treatments for breast and other cancers in the future.


[1] Sonia A. Melo, Hikaru Sugimoto, Joyce T. O’Connell, Noritoshi Kato, Alberto Villanueva, August Vidal, Le Qiu, Edward Vitkin, Lev T. Perelman, Carlos A. Melo, Anthony Lucci, Cristina Ivan, George A. Calin, Raghu Kalluri. Cancer Exosomes Perform Cell-Independent MicroRNA Biogenesis and Promote Tumorigenesis. Cancer Cell, 2014; 26 (5): 707 DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.09.005

[2] IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute. “How do breast cancer cells transform normal cells into tumoral ones?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141113110308.htm>.

[3] Sonia A. Melo, Hikaru Sugimoto, Joyce T. O’Connell, Noritoshi Kato, Alberto Villanueva, August Vidal, Le Qiu, Edward Vitkin, Lev T. Perelman, Carlos A. Melo, Anthony Lucci, Cristina Ivan, George A. Calin, Raghu Kalluri. Cancer Exosomes Perform Cell-Independent MicroRNA Biogenesis and Promote Tumorigenesis. Cancer Cell, 2014; 26 (5): 707 DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.09.005

[4] IBID

[5] IBID






Lactation linked to reduced estrogen receptor-negative, triple-negative breast cancer risk

September 16, 2014
Boston University Medical Center




Why is the most effective form of birth control—the IUD—also the one no one is using?











Brain protein may explain depression in pre-menopausal women

June 4, 2014
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health





Implanon / Nexplanon – The Three Year Birth Control Implant


By Heather MacGibbon

At one time or another every woman has thought, “I wish there was a birth control option that I could just get once and forget about until I was ready to start my family.”

Implanon, or the newly approved version Nexplanon1, may be the answer to this wish for many women.

Implanon is a flexible plastic rod implanted under the skin of your upper arm, usually on the inside, which slowly releases a progestational hormone stopping ovulation and making it harder for sperm to get inside the uterus from the vagina2.

While acting the same way that Progesterone based Birth Control Pills do, Implanon / Nexplanon has the great advantage of basically eliminating human error. Because the implant stays in for the three year duration of its activity you don’t have to worry about missed pills or lack of access to condoms which account for many of the unplanned pregnancies each year.

As with any birth control method you should discuss your interest in Implanon / Nexplanon with you OBGYN. As with all medications the birth control implant is not suitable for all women. If you have a history of blood clots, stroke, unexplained vaginal bleeding, breast cancer or other progesterone sensitive cancers or are allergic to any of the components of the implant.3

The attentive and knowledgeable doctor at Parkmed Physicians are board certified OBGYNs happy to discuss all your options regarding birth control and other reproductive health questions. We provide Implanon well as other long lasting birth control options such as  Paragaurd and Meriena IUD options.

For those who feel there family is complete Parkmed Physicians also provide the Essure Procedure and Tubal Legation for permanent birth control options.

1 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Implanon (Contraceptive Implant): Definition.” in Mayo Clinic Health Information January 21, 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/implanon/MY01007




3 MERC Staff Writers. “FDA-Approved Patient Labeling: Implanon (etonogestrel implant)” updated 03/2012.  http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/i/implanon/implanon_ppi.pdf>




Urinary Tract Infects: What you should know


By Heather MacGibbon

The symptoms are varied: Burning sensation when urinating, frequent trips to the bathroom with only minimal results, cloudy or strong-smelling urine or even pink or ‘cola colored’ urine. But the results are the same: You feel awful – and you are pretty sure you have a Urinary Track Infect.1

If you are having UTI symptoms you should call your OBGYN as soon as possible.

Although UTI’s are common you don’t want to let them go – first of all you will be super uncomfortable. Second, while most UTI’s are in the lower urinary tracks and cause mostly discomfort – if the UTI travels up the track into the kidneys you will be in a lot of pain and quite ill. Seeing you OBGYN quickly will save you a lot of suffering and possible help avoid a trip to the hospital.

There are three primary types of UTI’s which effect different parts of the urinary track.

Urethritis -irritation and infection of the tube which carries urine from the bladder out of the body1.  “Urethritis may be caused by bacteria or a virus. The same bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (E. coli) and some sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea) can lead to urethritis. Viral causes of urethritis include herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus”, according to the US Public Library of Medicine.2

Cystitis – This is an infection of the Bladder usually caused by bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Women are at greater risk of cystitis because of the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.3

Pyelonephritis  – Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a specific type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that generally begins in your urethra or bladder and travels up into your kidneys. This type of kidney infection requires prompt medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys or the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection.4

Generally doctors will prescribe antibiotics for treatment of a UTI – the type and length of treatment depends on the type of infection and the severity. If cases of Kidney infection sometimes inpatient treatment at the hospital will be needed.

Prevention: There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from UTIs. 5

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Drinking helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll clear your bladder more frequently.  This flushes bacteria from your system quickly and helps prevent infection.

Wipe from front to back. This helps keep bacterial from the GI track from getting into the urethra and causing infection.

Urinating before and after sex is also helpful in preventing UTIs. Again, this helps flush away any bacterial which might try to travel up the urethra.

You should also avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Douches, feminine deodorant sprays and powered can cause irritation and increase bacteria leading to infection.

While there is no clinical proof – many people still get some temporary relief by drinking cranberry juice. The acids in the juice are suspected of helping reduce bacterial in the bladder and help relieve symptoms – however seeing a medical professional as soon as possible is always best.